A team of volunteers is currently making waves in Qatar through their movement on beach clean-ups as well as their efforts on rooting out plastic pollution. Their slogan, 'Discovering Qatar with a purpose,' speaks volumes to what they aspire to be through their note-worthy contributions to the country's natural landmarks and resources.
Founded in May 2017 by Canadian Jeanne Brown, the Doha Environmental Actions Project's (DEAP) purpose is to restore the natural beauty of the sand dunes and beaches in Qatar by conducting weekly clean-ups that are both engaging and environment-friendly.
Since their onset mid of last year, the DEAP team is now consists of over 2,000 volunteers from all over the world who love the nature, enjoy the outdoors, and have a penchant for discovering Qatar’s beaches and sand dunes.
Besides the preserving aspect, another core mission of DEAP is to help promote the beautiful landscapes that Qatar has to offer including the Sealine Beach, Zekreet, and the lesser-known Musfur Sinkhole.
All the beach and sand dune clean-ups that the DEAP team has done was well-attended by people from all walks of life who wants to socialize, feel the fresh air, and make an impact all at the same time. Their pool of volunteers—who are mostly within the 30-50 age bracket—shows up every week to lend an extra hand.
Talking to DEAP director Jose Saucedo (from the USA), he shared that their clean-ups after every Friday prayers have reached a certain number that they already consider themselves a well-oiled machine. "We already have a list of beaches which allows us to know which ones are the most polluted, how far they are, how many more clean-up sessions may be needed to clean them, etc."
He also added that it's through experience how they were able to know the hazards that they may encounter along the way, if there's any.
On top of the volunteer organization's advocacy is their fight against the improper disposal of plastic (littering) in and beyond Qatar. And in order to spread more awareness regarding this serious matter, DEAP does school presentations to teach children of all ages basic things that they can do to help mitigate the common problem.
"We aspire to become a leading environmental group that is able to partner with Qatari government entities, educational institutions, corporations and businesses that share our passion for nature and the environment. We aim to have a positive influence in our community, allowing for Qatar’s natural landscapes to remain a beautiful source of pride," shared Jeanne.
On his vision of Qatar come year 2030, Jose has this to say: "We imagine a beautiful, clean, and healthy natural environment in Qatar. We'd like to see more recycling, a lot less littering, and the tourism industry growing significantly. In order to attain all these, we need to do our part."
He continued by saying that the government and various civil society and corporations should also take action to make sure that Qatar’s natural landscapes are a beautiful source of pride, and continue its legacy of becoming as litter-free space for generations to come.
"We'd also love Qatar to have its own national beach clean-up day, a day where we all cherish the environment and celebrate Qatari culture and the its breathtaking natural landscapes," the two founders concluded.
In their almost 18 months of existence a volunteer team in Qatar, the founders are happy to share that DEAP has completed 73 cleanups to date, over 3,000 tokens for volunteers, and so far has removed more than 38,000 kilos of trash from Qatar's beaches and sand dunes.
All of these were done in collaboration with corporate partners, government entities, and a number of schools, with many more already scheduled for the next couple of months.
If you want to become a volunteer, check out DEAP's email and social media links below!
Do you enjoy beach and desert clean-ups as well? Why not apply as volunteer for DEAP? If you like this article, don't forget to give it a like and a share—it keeps us going!
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